New city manager Matthes begins first day

Monday, May 2, 2011 | 11:01 a.m. CDT; updated 12:57 p.m. CDT, Monday, May 2, 2011

COLUMBIA — Mike Matthes started his job as Columbia’s new city manager hours before he was officially sworn in. 

At 8 a.m. Monday, Matthes attended a meet-and-greet on the second floor of City Hall. In a large room overlooking Broadway, Matthes met with city department heads and the city’s executive staff.  

At around 9 a.m. he headed off to a new employee orientation. The orientation was not for him — although Matthes was no doubt the city’s most notable new employee — but a standard bi-monthly meeting that the city manager regularly attends to meet new staff members. 

The rest of Matthes’ day would be filled with meetings and time spent acclimating to his new surroundings, Carol Schafer, secretary to the city manager, said.

Matthes was also expected to review issues that go before the Columbia City Council when it meets Monday evening.

“He’ll be in meetings all day so he can get comfortable with what’s going on and have time to study what’s on tonight’s agenda,” Schafer said.

Before making the move to Columbia, 42-year-old Matthes was the assistant city manager and chief information officer for Des Monies, Iowa. In that position he earned $135,000. 

As Columbia’s city manager Matthes will be paid $150,000 a year, plus health benefits and a car allowance — slightly less than the $154,000 that former city manager Bill Watkins received, according to a previous Missourian report.    

Matthes will officially fill Watkins' shoes at 7 p.m during the city council meeting when he is scheduled to be sworn in.

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